May 26th, 2008
10:55 AM ET
8 years ago

Bill Clinton says wife is victim of a ‘cover up’


Watch Bill Clinton's remarks about the state of the race.

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said that Democrats were more likely to lose in November if his wife Hillary Clinton is not the party’s presidential nominee, and suggested some people were trying to “cover this up” and “push and pressure and bully” superdelegates to make up their minds prematurely.

"I can’t believe it. It is just frantic the way they are trying to push and pressure and bully all these superdelegates to come out,” he said at a South Dakota campaign stop Sunday, in remarks first reported by ABC News. “'Oh, this is so terrible: The people they want her. Oh, this is so terrible: She is winning the general election, and he is not. Oh my goodness, we have to cover this up.'"

The former president added that his wife had not been given the respect she deserved as a legitimate presidential candidate. "She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence,” he said. “And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running.”

“Her only position was, ‘Look, if I lose I'll be a good team player. We will all try to win - but let's let everybody vote, and count every vote,’" he said.

The former president suggested that if the New York senator ended the primary season with an edge in the popular vote, it would be a significant development. "If you vote for her and she does well in Montana and she does well in Puerto Rico, when this is over she will be ahead in the popular vote,” said Clinton.

“And they're trying to get her to cry uncle before the Democratic Party has to decide what to do in Florida and Michigan” – which the party would need to do “unless we want to lose the election. "

The current requirement to claim the Democratic presidential nomination is 2,026 delegates, a formula that does not take into account delegates from Florida and Michigan, whose contests were not sanctioned by the party – although if those votes were to be counted as cast, Hillary Clinton would still currently trail rival Barack Obama in the overall delegate count.

The former president said Sunday that the media had unfairly attacked his wife since the Iowa caucuses, repeating an often-used charge that press coverage had made him feel as though he were living in a “fun house.”

"If you notice, there hasn't been a lot of publicity on these polls I just told you about,” he said. “It is the first time you've heard it? Why do you think that is? Why do you think? Don't you think if the polls were the reverse and he was winning the Electoral College against Senator McCain and Hillary was losing it, it would be blasted on every television station?”

He added, “You would know it wouldn't you? It wouldn't be a little secret. And there is another Electoral College poll that I saw yesterday had her over 300 electoral votes…. She will win the general election if you nominate her. They're just trying to make sure you don't."

soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Will in Richmond, VA

    WOW. How can he say this?

    Never mind that before Obama put together a winning campaign, most people were expecting Hillary to waltz into the White House. Never mind that the majority of Hillary's Superdelegates pledged themselves to her BEFORE Super Tuesday. Never mind that Hillary has had the support of the press, and is being treated as if her rear end is made of gold.

    Never mind any of that Bill. She is really the victim. You're absolutely right. I can totally see your logic.

    May 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  2. RF

    The Clintons can't stand watching the chances of having a dynasty end. It is almost as though they feel entitled to the White House and that is very un-American.

    May 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. Ez

    Bill we know you are good at this remeber the defnation of

    May 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  4. RRO

    I agree, no one has been more solandored than Hilary during this nomination. Obama and all his supporters who talk about change are th ones resulting to sexist comments and intollerant behaviour.

    If you don't support Obama or his ideas, according to his supporters you are biggoted, intollerant and stupid. The problem I keep having is that I want to make an informed choice. I can find lots of policies and information about Hilary's stances on issues, and see policies and plans she has. All I can find for Barrack is pretty speeches, now it makes me think who is intollerant and stupid now.

    May 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. Al from Atlanta

    Bill--– Hillary needs to run as an Independent. A Quickpak poll shows that she easily wins a 3 way race with Obama and McCain:

    Hillary 36%
    McCain 30%
    Obama 27%
    Undec. 7%

    This is the only way to stop these Democratic Party hacks from trying to run her into the ground.

    May 26, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Connie

    Take your own advise and stop whinnnnnnning Bill. Florida allowed the Rep. to mess up the votes in 2000 and you did nothing about the votes being counted when Gore ran. Now the shoe is on the other foot and you want people to have sympathy for Hillary. We are in 2008 and again Florida has allowed the Rep. to mess up the votes again. Had you not stain the WH we would not have had to deal with 8 years of Bush. Go somewhere and sit down. You help steal Gore chances and now you want to help steal Obama chance. Go bye and island with your remaining 89 million and make Hillary Pres. and she can rule over you and C. It's OVER for the Clintons.

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. Karen in Cape Cod

    I agree with Bill Clinton, Hillary has been smeared repeatedly! I want a fighter in the White House not a smooth talker!

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. sam

    Former President Bill Clinton is now showing his color , I hope P.R. South Dekota and Montana people all votes for Omaba , and end misry for Democratis party . Clintons have loss their mind , and i think we have to have medical exam.of both should be relese to public , so we know what is going on. They can not do the math, they do not understand rules, laws and procedures and they want todo thier way .He also said their daughter want to get into family business , Clinton , politically people of USA can ruin your businees any time they-want – you will not get any public speaking invitations, no one will read your and your wife books, and no other country in world will call you any more after this election- you will not make $ 100 million any more after this talk.

    Good luck -–your family business will need badley

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. sam

    i seem to remember hillary saying during the bill clinton presidency that there was a right wing cover-up going and that they were victims then. that's always a good card to play when you aren't getting your way. by the way hillary, do you own anything else besides the same size large pant suits in every color?

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  10. Hans-Erik Iken

    I know it is only politics but Bill knows better then to try and cover up the fact that Hillary agreed to the disqualification of the Florida and Michigan primaries.

    This story about Obama and the DNC bullying Hillary out of the race is such a load of BS and it is getting very old and stale now.

    The real blame lies with the state parties as Bill is well aware of. I know he is just trying to help his wife but please Bill, give the public the credit for some brains as well please and stop beating this dead horse.

    This race is over and all but the most fanatical will concede that. Just because you scream foul play doesn't make it so. Hillary lost because they underestimated the Obama campaign and were not prepared for a fight beyond supertuesday. She could well have won had she not made that mistake. It was a good fight but it is over now, accept reality.

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  11. Mary

    This man should be ashame. The only things being covered up is her lies. She tells a lie to cover a lie.

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. Allen Friedman--- Henderson, Nevada

    One important issue to know as a presidential candidate is when only a negitive can be achieved by certain actions and the Hillary candidacy is now turning into a negitive. You do not destroy your own party inorder to have personal gain! It is time to say good night Gracie!

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Pamela

    Clinton's always wanting to change the rules if things don't go their way. He's blowing smoke. The people don't want Hillary for president. Obama has gotten more votes. Period. There's no secret poll. Bull crap. Hillary CAN NOT draw crowds of 75,000 like in Oregon or 25,000 in Indiana. She's just not likeable and she's a liar.

    McCain will win if Hillary is the nominee because people just don't want a corrupt President as the Clintons are. The world would start WW 3 with us because she would offend other countries with her lies and ill thought comments and then the next day say "oh I must have been tired when I said that." Other countries won't be so easy to win back as the deer-in-the-headlights-Clinton supporters. Oh, ok Hillary, if you say you were tired then that's ok with us. Hillary is disoriented obviously at 3 a.m. in the morning!!!!!

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  14. A Latte Lover, Seattle, WA

    HUH??? Shame on you, Bill Clinton!!! I use to have much respect for you. Now, I'm beginning to believe you have gone over the edge, just as Hillary has. The majority of bullying being done to Super Delegates is coming from your wife's supporters, and they are not taking well to threats.

    Women for Obama, 08


    Lazy, White American's for Obama, 08

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  15. Coleman R. Brice, Asbury Park, NJ

    MORE CLINTON LIES! This is disgraceful behaviour from a former President of the United States of America.



    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Beau Ward

    Why would Bill have any particular insight about winning a majority of the popular vote? In eight years he could never convince a majority of Americans to vote for him.

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  17. Concerned Canadian

    President Bill Clinton is absolutely 110 percent correct !!

    Barack Hussein Obama and the DNC are running like they just
    robbed a bank or something. Superdelegates being bullied ( probably bribed ..wouldn't surprise anyone ). All this despite the fact Hillary Clinton is the favorite among most democratic voters and Florida and Michigan is also supporting her.

    Hillary Clinton in reality should be the nominee. If she is not vindicated next week....civil war in the party...convention Denver.

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  18. Vp

    Fred is paid by Clintons. You can see his posts at the top of the list all the time 🙂

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  19. Richard, St. Paul, MN

    Shut up, Bill. We're all as tired of you and your manipulative rhetoric as we are of the Republicans' manipulative rhetoric. Go chill out , have a cigar somewhere, and leave the public alone will ya? Your wife is losing; deal with it.

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  20. Who Cares

    I agree with him, the powers that be want her out because they want Obama in and if she stays in and pushes for FL and MI she may get the popular vote and then she does have a chance. If she does quit than FL and MI won't have to be counted.



    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  21. Jenny from Indiana

    Not treated as a respectable candidate?!?! She's been given WAY too much respect. ANYONE ELSE WOULD HAVE BEEN COUNTED OUT BY NOW. But because she was so heavily favored to win in the beginning, she's gotten about 10 chances. And in no way, shape or form is she winning any election.

    The idea and notion that there is some kind of "cover up" or conspiracy just shows how low the Clinton's will go. She knows shes out, now she just has to save face.

    Oh, and how can we even toy with the idea that she would make a good president. Look at how she ran her campaign! Last I checked she was $20 million in debt!!!! I mean, she hasn't paid my university for her visit yet! And somehow there are still people out there that think she would be a good president.

    Wouldn't it be nice if voters were actually informed?

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. mary

    "Just because you say it doesn't mean it is so." We've had to respond to Republican illogic with this rationale for years. Now Clinton is adopting it?

    May 26, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. john





    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  24. Jackie

    The only reason Hillary is remaining in the race until June 3rd is to raise additional funds. If she drops out before June 3rd, she has no way of erasing any part of her huge debt. I believe the DNC, the remaining SD’s, and the Obama camp have quietly agreed to this arrangement. So, you would think the Clintons would be grateful, maintain a little dignity, and use the last few days to unite the party. But no……They prefer to show us how sad and shameful they really are.

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  25. CB

    When Hillary said McCain was more qualified to be President than Obama people were turned off – and the problems just kept coming after that.

    Its obvious to everyone that the Clintons will do anything or say anything to win. I highly doubt that they would be pushing so hard for Florida and Michigan if she was not winning those states.

    May 26, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
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